Simon Phillips

059 – Simon Phillips (Toto / Protocol II): Blending Technical and Musical

In this podcast I talked to the great Simon Phillips, best known for his work with Toto (20+ years) not to mention other musical greats such as Jeff BeckThe WhoJudas PriestTears for FearsMike Oldfield, and Gary Moore, among others.  

Simon’s info (From Wikipedia)

Phillips began to play professionally at the age of twelve in his father’s (Sid PhillipsDixieland band for four years. He was then offered the chance to play in the musical Jesus Christ Superstar. He quickly became a sought-after session player and in 1992, he released two instructional videos displaying some of his best work.

Phillips found an early prominence as the drummer on the 1976 LP 801 Live with Phil Manzanera and Brian Eno.[2] He replaced Judas Priest drummer Alan Moore on the band’s Sin After Sin album (1977) and went on to record Michael Schenker‘s 1980 debut album The Michael Schenker Group.

Phillips has performed and recorded with a wide array of musicians including Big Jim Sullivan, Pete Townshend, Big CountryTotoSteve Lukather and Los Lobotomys, Jeff BeckWhitesnakeJack BruceDavid GilmourFrank Zappa,[3] Brian EnoDuncan BrowneToyahMike OldfieldJon AndersonBonnie TylerTrevor RabinGary Moore10ccMick Jagger,Ph.D.Joe SatrianiRuss BallardMike RutherfordPhil ManzaneraJohn Wetton, flamenco guitarist Juan MartinAsiaStanley ClarkeJimmy EarlDerek SherinianNik KershawGordon GiltrapCamelJordan Rudess and Tears For Fears.

He was the drummer for The Who in their 1989 American reunion tour, and appeared on solo recordings by band members Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend.

Phillips has played on, co-produced, and mixed five Derek Sherinian solo records – Inertia (2001), Black Utopia (2003), Mythology (2004), Blood of the Snake (2006), andOceana (2011). He also co-produced and mixed two albums by Mike Oldfield. Phillips also appeared with Jeff BeckJimmy PageEric ClaptonSteve Winwood and others in the video for the 1983 A.R.M.S. concert benefit for Ronnie Lane. In the early 1980s, Phillips formed part of RMS with fellow session musicians, Mo Foster and Ray Russell.

He has released four studio albums of varying styles.

In 2006, Phillips released a DVD with his jazz band, Vantage Point, called Resolution with writer and pianist Jeff Babko, trumpeter Walt Fowler, saxophonist Brandon Fields and bassist Alphonso Johnson.

“A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.” – Nolan Bushnell

In this podcast you’ll hear Simon Phillips talk about:

  • How he got started with drumming
  • His approach to practicing and technique
  • How he got the Toto gig
  • His advice for drums who want to make a career in music
  • Why technique is important to making music and vise versa
  • Much more

Resources and Links Mentioned:

Simon Phillips’: Website | Facebook | Twitter
Hiromi Jazz Trio
Protocol II

Simon’s Gear:

Tama Drums
Zildjian Cymbals
Remo Drumheads
Pro Mark  Drumsticks
Shure  Microphones 
XL Specialty Cases